The Silent Day
Much of what has been written about Jesus in scripture, about a third, concerns what he did during the last week of his life And so, it is strange that there is nothing recorded in the gospels about what occurred on this day, the Wednesday of Holy Week. In our modern way of thinking, we expect to see an hour by hour account of all that someone famous did and said in the last days of life. The silence of today is especially striking to our ears.
Could it be that Jesus took the day off, as in a sabbath day of rest? Knowing that what lay ahead would require all his strength to endure, did he take the day to step back from the growing tumult of the crowds around him in Jerusalem and seek the time and space to pray? Did he spend the day listening to God? Did he perhaps also spend the day listening to see how others were reacting to his life’s message? I can imagine Jesus saying, “I have taught you all that I can. Are you with me? Do you believe me? Does it matter to any of you that I have lived”?
In the Gospel according to John, there is a beautiful discourse by Jesus that can help us in collecting our thoughts as we come to the three holiest days of the year. In the “silence” of today, Jesus is speaking these words to us as well:
And Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in me does not believe in me, but in him who sent me. And he who beholds me beholds the one who sent me. I have come as light into the world that everyone who believes in me may not remain in darkness.
And if anyone hears my sayings, and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.
For I did not speak on my own initiative, but the Father himself who sent me has given me commandment, what to say, and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told me.
~ John 12:44-50
As we come to the end of Lent and prepare for the joy of Easter, we hold up in prayer all those who will be received into the Church this weekend. You have heard Jesus’ message and have received it. Alleluia!